Why It’s Better to Pay Off a Mortgage and Work in an Office Than Travel Around the World and Freelance
There are a lot of stories online about people who escaped from the office routine and now do the things they like on some island, making 3 times more money that they used to. Their message is that working in an office is not cool. It is cool to travel around the world, freelance, work 4 hours a day, and enjoy the moment. But this is only one side of the question.
Bright Side decided to find out why people are trying to avoid having a regular job and what advantages they are missing out on.
Where the trend for freedom came from
The attempt to “escape from the system” is as old as time. The Ancient Greeks supported hedonism as the philosophy of pleasure (but in the 18th century it was moralized). The people in ancient India found their peace in Buddhism as a refusal from desires, and their meditative detachment, when they have any trouble, is a little intense.
A more sudden and irreversible refusal from routine was spread among hippies who tried to run away from the American dream in the 1950s (a stable job, a house, a family). They never managed to build a stable economic or cultural model. Their attempts to become free ended in different festivals with alcohol and drugs.
In the 21st century, the desire to avoid commitment gradually transformed into a new trend — ghosting. Ghosting in the professional world is when a person doesn’t show up for a job interview, doesn’t come to work, with no warning, or says that they are sick and then makes a post on social media where they show how they are enjoying a glass of wine at the moment.
Analytics blame the lowest unemployment rate in the US in the past 49 years: there are enough workplaces for everyone to find a job easily. The number of “ghosts” in the world market has grown by 10-20% recently.
It is actually quite understandable why people just disappear:
- 85% leave without a warning because they don’t want to have a conflict with their employer;
- 60% feel exhausted and underpaid.
Before, employers often didn’t respond to the CV they read. And today, it’s the other way round — a lot of people are the ones doing the ghosting.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as the perfect job.
The development of technology has actually made the world too difficult. We want to hide our unpleasant moments at work. Social media is convincing us that regular life is not cool. It is cool to travel, enjoy your life, and look for your true calling. Ghosting is just an attempt to find that perfect job, and avoid the difficulties and conflicts.
But there is no such thing as a perfect job:
- The first impression of any activity will fade. The sensation of doing something new gives the brain a dose of dopamine that makes us interested, fast, and happy. But any job has a cycle of repetitive actions that form a habit. Everything becomes boring.
- To master something, you need time. And conscious effort. The principle of 10,000 hours is only partially correct because repeating the same actions over and over again is not enough. You need to change and make your tasks more complicated, in this case, learning something will take only 3-4 thousand hours.
- Looking for yourself (your passion, your calling) is a vague purpose. It is hard for the brain to track time during long periods that don’t have clear borders. This is why when you study, time seems to go very slowly (there’s a schedule) and when there is no plan for the year/several years, time goes so fast you don’t even notice it pass.
- An easy job is not necessarily a good job. It seems to people that what they like doing should be easy for them because this is their calling. But as the tasks become harder and harder, they lose the initial interest and start looking for a new job. Scientists at Stanford University recommend not looking for your passion but developing it.
The idea that everyone needs to find their true calling leads to the fact that people choose a temporary job that allows them to travel around the world and try to figure out something about themselves. Or they try themselves in areas that are considered to be prestigious and popular: as designers, IT-specialists, or bloggers. Experts say that by the year 2020, just in the US, there may be 31.7 million (!) bloggers. Every year, there are one million more bloggers.
The book Eat Pray Love was released in 2006 and a movie with Julia Roberts was shot based on it. We think that the people who strive for this lifestyle base their plans on the ideas of this book: thinking they need to see the world to find themselves.
But few people know that Elizabeth Gilbert is a professional writer who had had 13 years of writing experience before she started working on the book. She built her journalist career: she was published in GQ, The New York Times Magazine, and Esquire. Her first book was awarded with the Hemingway Canadian Literary Award, and the second was praised by The New York Times. Eat Pray Love is the work of a professional writer. Traveling was her job. When she came up with the concept of the book, she agreed to it with her publisher, got an advance payment, and paid for her trip. She wasn’t trying to find herself.
The non-obvious advantages of a regular life
- A stable life is important for the development of children. Scientists researched the influence of stability on feeling safe, success in education, and behavior. An unstable job or when one parent loses their job is a huge stress for children.
- Boredom is the driver of creativity. The word boredom has a very negative connotation and people try to avoid it. But we generate ideas better when we are a little bored. When there is nothing to do, the brain can dive into the subconsciousness, pull out interesting facts, and turn them into something new.
- A mortgage is not only a commitment, but also an investment. In the US, 40 % of people can’t afford to buy a house. So, it looks very romantic to live in an RV or travel because people don’t have enough money to live a stable life.
The brain doesn’t allow us to imagine ourselves in old age and realize what we will care about when we are old. It’s not our fault that current tasks seem more important than future ones. There are too many distracting factors:
- Every day, we get thousands of notifications. The modern perception of reality even has its own name — twitterization of thinking. Books are becoming shorter, and movie plots are becoming simpler.
- The ability to edit photos with filters or in Photoshop makes people feel like they’re not attractive enough.
- Social media causes a stronger addiction than cigarettes and alcohol. Instagram has the most negative influence on health: it increases anxiety and makes us feel scared that we are missing out on something.
But if you can admit that these factors play a huge role in your life, you’ll realize that your time can be used for something way more important.
Share some photos of your job: what do you do every day that makes you happy?
Preview photo credit swissmediavision / E+ / Getty Images